I really think it’s no coincidence that TriUtah puts on the Jordanelle race at the same time every year. They have that race dialed in. They really do. We spent the night in the campground about 100 meters from the finish line and at 5:30am I could already hear the staff making the final touches to what would be an amazing day of an amazing race.
By 6:00 I could see the athletes start to come in to get their places set up in transition and get body marked.
One of the things I like about TriUtah races is that your T1 & T2 spot is always set up for you with your name/number and a note you typed to yourself as to ‘why do you Tri’. The good news is that spot is already marked for you and you don’t have to worry about finding a ‘good spot’, and the bad news is that the spot is already marked for you. I find that by bringing some chalk or something to mark my spot, the con can be turned into a pro.
The water temperature was perfect for a wetsuit-high 60’s. The gun went off and the usual turmoil immediately started. From a distance I like to think that it looks like organized chaos happening in the water, but for anyone that has been in said chaos, you know it’s a free for all of arms, hands, legs, feet and bodies to see who will come out on top and in front. After the 1st 400 meters everyone gets into their groove and then the real race starts. I say that because now it’s just you by yourself and a handful of other around you, but it really comes down to that moment. Did I train hard enough? Did I train at all? Am I supposed to be doing the back or breaststroke this early in an Olympic swim? Does it matter?
Coming out of the water is such a great experience at Jordanelle, because going up the ramp the athlete is surrounded by spectators 3 or 4 deep on each side to prepare them for the long bike ahead of them. The 1st couple miles of the bike is super crazy flat and then takes you on a false flat yet is doable and to the point of you asking yourself ‘Is this really a false flat, because I feel like I should be riding faster than I am?’. Never fear though, because the scenery that is ahead and around you will keep your mind occupied long enough to get to the turn-around where your speed is instantly doubled (or more than doubled) as one gets to reap the benefits of a false flat in reverse. Another cool thing about the bike course is while you are going close to the speed of light you arrive at the Olympic turn-around which is uphill. “Uphill” you may say? Never fear, because you are probably going about 30+ mph from this canyon and you will fly up that hill like it is nobody’s business. The funnest part of TriUtah’s Jordanelle triathlon for Sprint and Olympic distance alike is ‘The Hill”. This hill has to be about an 8-10% grade that will drop you like a roller coaster at a theme park. Before you can take a drink of Heed, the wind will be howling in your ears as you are going 40, 42, 44, 46, 48 and finally 50+ mph!!! Oh imagine how much time you just saved in your race by breaking the speed limit!
The run takes you on flat road for the 1st 1+ miles just to tease you with what is about to come. After the flat you make a right turn and start to go up a hill. It’s not a bad hill by any means, it’s just a hill on pavement getting ready to drop you onto a dirt trail. This trail is a fantastic trail and will test your skills as you are either going up and little or down a little, but rarely flat. The last section of trail turns into a wooden walkway where you can hear the crowd begging for you to do one more lap for old time’s sake. It really is a great run course and the hills make you respect the last segment of the race just a little more and “will make an honest man of yourself”. The aid stations are at about every mile and the miles are clearly marked as well.
If you are looking for a race that is fun, beautiful, demanding yet lenient, then my suggestion to you is to tri out TriUtah’s Jordanelle triathlon this coming year. I’ll be back for more, will you?